A Scots designer has reinvented the most commonly used kitchen appliance after witnessing his ageing grandmother’s struggles.

Nick Fitzpatrick’s kettle has dual horizontal handles, for ease of use by older people with reduced strength and dexterity, and allows the user to fill it up without removing the lid.

The kettle also has a raised stand that boils the water while eliminating the need to lift and pour after boiling.

Instead, the user presses a single button to dispense the water into an object underneath.

The Edinburgh-based designer’s creation was named Best New Concept at the Blackwood Design Awards’ Dragons’ Den-style competition to recognise innovations and inventions that improve the lives of older and disabled people.

The three winners were announced at the V&A Dundee, Scotland’s design museum – the same location where they pitched their ideas to a panel of eight of the sector’s leading experts.

Mr Fitzpatrick, who lives in Edinburgh and founded Inclu, said: “Creating beautiful products for the home that are inclusive and accessible for people of all abilities is my goal.

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“My kettle reinvention aims to solve the functional problems posed by mainstream kettles without becoming a stigmatising product.

“It does this by rethinking how a kettle should be used – modern technology like an induction coil housed in the stand of the kettle.”


He added: “The dual handles and raised stand have the biggest impact on the user experience as they allow people with reduced strength and dexterity to lift the kettle more easily and it removes the need to tilt and pour water entirely.”

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One of the other participants, Charlie Wilson, in partnership with Strathclyde University, created an electric plug with a push option rather than only pull which is easier to remove.

The shortlist this year showcased truly phenomenal work and clever thinking

Arthritis sufferers say they find current electrical plug designs uncomfortable and often have to resort to asking for help which impacts their independence or can lead to unsafe practices such as pulling plugs out by the cable.

Mr Wilson said: “Some amazing people with arthritis shared feedback and personal experiences which fed into the final design, which focuses on being able to push the plug to remove it removing the need for grip strength.

“I’m partially sighted and believe in inclusive design, the principle of designing for the widest range of people possible.”

Koalaa Soft Prosthetics from London was recognised as the winner of Best New Aid, Equipment or Accessible Technology for its comfortable and affordable prosthetic devices.

The prosthetic device is a sleeve fitted with different tool attachments depending on the type of activity the user would like to do, with three options currently offered.

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Fanchea Kelly, Blackwood’s chief executive, said: “The inventions created by all the shortlisted entrants are inspiring and it was tough for the judges to decide on the winners.

“These inventions make a huge difference in helping people to live more independently and that’s what we aim to promote and encourage with the Blackwood Design Awards.

"The shortlist this year showcased truly phenomenal work and clever thinking and we thank all those who got involved for committing their time to such important endeavours.”

The panel of industry experts that judged the awards included Gemma Lumsdaine, wheelchair rugby coach 
for Dundee Dragons, Jo Mawdsley, head of learning at V&A Dundee, and Emma Muldoon, a travel and disabled blogger.

The sponsors of the design awards included Hyper Luminal Games and Social Telecoms, which provided £2,000 prize money for the two new-to-market inventions so the winners of the competition could develop their designs further.

Blackwood is an independent living specialist that has earned a reputation as an industry leader in using cutting-edge technology to help its customers to live independently.

Its Blackwood House design guide is seen by many as the gold standard for accessible housing to support independent living in Scotland.